Monday, March 19, 2012
Spiritual Wisdom from the Sphinx
I think all this talk of spirituality is way too serious. One of the things that comes to my mind when I hear talk of “spirituality” is the film Mystery Men (1999). The cast of superheros drawn from the 99% is terrific. Ben Stiller plays “Mr. Furious,” Janeane Garafalo is “the Bowler,” Paul Reubens is "the Spleen," and William H. Macy is “the Shoveler.” The evil genius is played by no less than Geoffrey Rush. Wes Studi is filled with quiet stillness and the puzzling words of wisdom we expect from the spiritually wise.
“To learn my teachings, I must first teach you how to learn,” he says. “He who questions training only trains himself at asking questions.”
One of the characters acts out and the Sphinx says to him: “You must lash out with every limb, like the octopus who plays the drums. You must be like wolf pack, not six-pack.”
As they train to face their evil opposites, he tells them "Learn to hide your strikes from your opponent and you'll more easily strike his hide." When they express their fears, he counsels “When you doubt your powers, you give power to your doubts” and “When you care what is outside, what is inside cares for you.”
Mr. Furious responds, “Don’t you think that your words are a little formulaic?” The Sphinx says, “Until you learn to master your rage...” to which Mr. Furious interrupts and completes – “your rage will become your master. Isn’t that what you were going to say?” Wisely and appropriately, Mr. Sphinx answers, “Not necessarily.”
So we have a lesson on how to speak wisely. I can do it, too, and so can you.
If you do not believe in God; God will not believe in you.
If you want to find the spirit, you must let the spirit find you.
If life is to have meaning, you must make meaning in your life.
If you follow your bliss, your bliss will follow you.
If you want to be spiritual in your religion, you must be religious about your spirituality.